Hiking the Snout Track, Picton
The Snout Track is the perfect short hiking trail for people visiting Picton on a tight schedule. You can walk to the start of the trail from town, and the track is fairly easy — if you’re in town on a cruise or you have a few hours before catching a ferry it’s your best option (along with the Tirohanga Track). Even if you’re not short on time in Picton it’s worth hiking the Snout Track — the views over Queen Charlotte Sound are awesome!
Hiking the Snout Track
We accessed the Snout Track via a mountain bike path starting close to Queen Charlotte College, but most people will start a little closer to town (Shelly Beach / Bob’s Bay) or the Snout Track car park (Joseph Sullivan Drive).
Once we were on the Snout Track the trees thinned out a bit and we got some great views over Queen Charlotte Sound. You feel like you’re way out in nature during the walk. One particular clearing, with views over an emerald green section of the Snout (a small peninsula) gives you a great taste of what the Marlborough Sounds has to offer — namely vast tracts of unspoilt native bush and varying shades of calm blue water.
By this point we were running dangerously low on water, but we pushed on to the final viewpoint in hopes of finding a tap. We got there, realised there was no tap and that it wasn’t even the end of the track. It continues down all the way to edge of the water, so Gia headed back to the car while I rushed down the hill to complete the hike. I shouldn’t have bothered — there were no more views along the way and it looked better from above. At least I met some cyclists who gave me some water!
Where to start the Snout Track
You can walk all the way from town, and there seems to be a couple of different tracks. I’d recommend parking at Shelly Beach then walking to Bob’s Beach (both are great beaches and are good options if you don’t have time to do the Snout Track) then continue up the hill. You should see a sign pointing you to the Snout Track. If you’re walking from Picton it’d take you around two hours to hike to the last Snout Track viewpoint and back. There’s a little bit of uphill hiking but it’s fairly easy. You can also start at the car park on Joseph Sullivan Road.
Other walks in Picton
If you have a bit more time in Picton you should seriously consider hiking the Tirohanga Track (or do it instead of the Snout Track). The view over Picton from the top of the hill is pretty amazing. You can also walk from Picton to Waikawa Bay, head out to Karaka Point or do one of several other short walks around Picton (pick up a map at campgrounds or the i-SITE for more information).
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